About the project

Introduction

Fresh water resources worldwide are under pressure due to climate change, socio-economic development and population growth. A major concern of water management - especially in semiarid regions - is to design adequate strategies for efficient water use considering regional environmental and institutional aspects.

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The Vth and the IVth (Coquimbo) Region in Northern Central Chile are relevant export producers of high value citric fruits, table grapes, wine and avocado. The semiarid Limarí river basin serves as pilot catchment representing the strong vulnerability of the entire region to climate variability and change due to its dependency on the snow melt driven hydro(geo)logy originating in the high Andes cordillera. The intense agricultural production in the region has been strongly affected by a number of years of extremely low precipitation since 2007. The irrigation reservoirs in the Limarí at the beginning of the hydrological year account for only 9% of their storage capacity. Hence there is a strong interest to improve the knowledge on hydrological processes under climate variability, to provide reliable water availability projections for different climate scenarios and to increase water use efficiency in intensive irrigated agriculture.

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